tv Your World With Neil Cavuto FOX News December 11, 2009 4:00pm-5:00pm EST
[captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- neil: the pay czar is clamping down, but salaries are spiking up. welcome everybody. kenneth feinberg demanded a 500,000 pay cap to more bailed out company heads. this happened the same day as we learn the number of federal employees making six figures is exploding. on average, government workers are making 31,000 more a year than other comparable private- sector counterparts. some say that this seems backwards. simon, is weird is going on. >> i and what the pay czar -- i think what the pay czar did
today is within reason, and the limits are fair. of the six companies, bankers and investors but conditions all the time. american taxpayers -- neil: fine, if you want to go down that argument, it is fine. but then why not give the same scrutiny to federal workers, which is the only booming industry in the united states? >> this was news to a lot people, i think. the new payroll's put into place for the bush administration, the cats raised on salaries, and cemented by the republican administration, in this year, in the same article, the obama administration cut the year-to-year increase in salaries.
neil: i do not care if it is president bush for president obama. the fact of the matter is federal employees making $100,000 or more has jumped, and the number of workers in general has boomed. the number of private sector jobs lost as more than 7 million. it is not right. >> the government has tried to step in. let's hope that this is a temporary thing. the paymaster will hopefully be a temporary job. neil: i am not trying to be silly. i'm just saying that for a government very focused on
regulating pay for whatever reason. >> this year, the baseline pay increase is substantially lower than what was granted. he put a freeze in force senior executives that will not have salary increases this year. there was an explosion of money at the top expiring in 2012, coming to an end. neil: the fact of the matter is that the transportation department had only at the start of the recession one worker earning a salary of $170,000 or more. now there are 1690 employees in that range.
neil: i am not even selecting departments here so much as making a general statement that the only folks in town who seem to be benefiting from all of this largess and stimulus appear to be government workers. i know many, and they are fine folks. but 7.5 million americans have lost their jobs, and they are supposedly accountable, they are scratching their heads, saying, "what the hell?" >> do you think we should let it
expire? neil: if we're seeing a private sector meltdown, maybe we do not need so many public sector jobs. need so many public sector jobs. the phenomenon is now out of control. folks look at this and say, you know what, this is weird. this is a booming business to be in right now, the government. start looking at boys and saying, guys, the future for you is not finance, is washington. is not finance, is washington. public firms getting rain again,
whether you disagree or agree with the concept, i can see where you are coming from. >> as somebody who works in washington, i was not aware of how much the salaries increased for federal employees. i do think this is legitimate at a time when there will be greater need to cut costs and get spending under control and bring the budget to the ballots. how we deal with the workforce will be important. they are comparatively small salaries to the private sector. the president of the united
states probably makes less money than you do. so the salary scale is still less than a host of fox news. neil: and buy ratings are higher. i am joking, i am joking. thank you very much, and i'm looking forward to it. it started with pay for the top guys. who is next? i told you so. we have been warning of the slippery slope for months. this guy was a loan plus. -- philosopher and the woods. -- in the woods. >> remember what a group was asked about his $100,000 -- what babe ruth was saying when he was asked about his high salary compared to the president?
he had a better year than him. on this issue of federal pay, federal employees are overpaid. studies show, federal employees have virtual lifetime tenure in their jobs. that is something almost nobody in the private sector has. and their pensions are huge. they are basically about a third higher than the average private- sector worker. we have a 1.4 trillion dollar deficit, and it seems to make sense to pull that back. i hate this stuff. i hate wage controls when it comes to the private sector. there is no question that there were abuses in these companies, and like you, i think that we
agree some of the sellers were completely outrageous -- some of the salaries were ridiculous. but when you talk about a paid ceiling for a ceo of a company with tens of thousands of employees, i am not sure -- neil: well, maybe there is a brilliant strategy. maybe there is a machiavellian scheme. >> once you get that money, you are subject to federal strengths. but my question is, do we want these banks to be back into profitability, or not? in this world, if you want the top talent, you have got to pay top dollar. brian: -- neil: but half a million
dollars, what are they wining about? >> well, one thing pay czar said, we have to be careful that we do not give the ceo's an incentive to leave. but anyone would shop around for a higher salary. the other thing to be wary of is there something called a clawback provision, meaning they can go back and take back money that you made in previous years. neil: this is -- when they set these levels, they are not doing that out of acumen. they are not talking about those firms taken over by the government. they are saying, this is but we think is acceptable, this is what we think is extreme. and then they are leaving.
>> this cents at a guideline, not for firms that took the money, but across the country. but that is what kobe bryant makes every game in the nba, each second. neil: thank you very much. do any of you remember this? >> if my administration determines an earmarked has no public purpose, we will seek to eliminate it. neil: a big omnibus bill headed your way with five dozen pieces of pork. man: alice loves the smell of gain so much,
we do not know too much more than that, but he was the operative outside of afghanistan and pakistan. he is dead. yesterday on this show, a republican congressman took on his own party. >> i was adamant in saying, look, we have got to be good stewards of american money. those that refused to do that will suffer the consequences. neil: my next guest is a fellow republican congressman, errant truck. what do you make of this promise that says no pork, ever, ever
ever? >> i do agree that we will face consequences and likely be unelected, as did the majority that lost its way with spending. clearly, democrats are doubling qn"(down here, spending more thn has ever been spent in our country's history. and the issue of pork or community projects were earmarks or every want to make them out to be, reality is that it is not those projects that really affect the deficit as much as it is just overall discretionary spending here in our country. we just passed a bill this week increasing spending to 0.5% at a time when every state and local government is cutting back. we're adding spending increases. neil: you have committed $3 million to reallocate base interest. maybe it is justified. you spend another $800,000 on
the geographical survey, and 250 grand for the oak ridge cemetery improvements. i hope important people are buried there. someone else might pulled pork. >> a man named abraham lincoln, who you might be familiar with. neil: what about 3 million for the airport? what are you doing there? >> what would you say about the largest spending bill in our country's history, which the country rightfully says there are no earmarks? how about giving all of the
federal money to unelected bureaucrats who never have to justify where it goes or face an electorate or election to be elected. neil: you say you cannot support vast increases on current programs that are pork-laden. >> you ask the question, who would i rather have with this money? our founding fathers decided that, and i continue to say that i will fight for my district. we have disclosure statements that we have to file for financial requests. but it is overall spending.
some will occur unless you want to completely abolish the federal government. neil: i know you are looking after their interests, and they are fine. you are no different than the big-time spenders that you criticize. but we do not have the money. >> we have to decide that we as a government can afford to spend what we spend. just as you and i have personal
budgets, state governments set their budget, local budgets set their budget. what i, as well as a majority of americans are opposed to, is increasing spending levels in each of the departments on average. it is easy to criticize any spending we can go through, line after line. the fact of the matter is, we have a federal government that wants to spend the money.
placed on insurance for americans. our guest is an orthopedic surgeon at the mayo clinic. why are you so sure about this? sure that taxpayers will be left to pick it up? >> as we understand is the poll in the wall, and as you note -- there's a hole in the wall, a limit to what they are willing to spend on hospitalization. you have to pay the difference out of pocket.
you have to pay into the health- care program discussed in the senate right now. so if there is no cumulative cap, if you will, and you can go to 90 days, if you go past 90, you have to pay out of pocket. so if you're sick, and you are unfortunate enough to be sick or multiple years, it is going to increase the out-of-pocket expenditures, and any recipient of medicare and knows that there are a lot of out-of-pocket expenditures in the current system. so this is basically replicating at that. neil: when a lot of recipients are already there, there is a limit as to how long they can stay in hospital before the half to pay on their own dime.
-- before they have to pay on their own dime. >> if you compare the benefit package they have, compared on medicare, there is a stark difference. most private insurance and the employer insurance covers a lot more time in a hospital and has hired coverage, covering drugs, covering dental, a lot of things. i think most beneficiaries would rather have the insurance they had as employees. and that is with this annual cap concept in general. neil: i do not want to put this in sarah palin's terms, but is
this the equivalent of saying that more people die? >> i do not think so. it is more of a burden for the individual. the individual will have to put more out of pocket, and when they run out, there will have to go on medicaid and put the burden on taxpayers. that is typically what happens. neil: a new fox poll shows nearly two-thirds of americans think reforming health care will mean more expense. today, a report proves a lot of that will be true. the center for medicare-medicaid services is saying the bill will hike up costs by billions over the next decade. senator, what do you make of that? you look at the details, under the proverbial good, and it is out there. >> it is so ugly. with the actuarial report analysis, whether you call it,
is the round house blow to the plan. it is just devastated. costs do not go down at all. they go up. neil: the cbo says that that is not the case. eventually, they will not know anything. >> the cbo could not really give a good estimate of the overall costs, and going up over an extended time. that is why we went ahead and asked where the actuary can analyze the bill. he analyzed it and said, guess what, costs are going up. so there is an inconsistency there, with all of those promises about bending the cost curve. you bet it, all right, but you bet it up. premiums go up. we have already established that.
neil: the argument was that he was winning over more people. has this taken people off? >> he is not winning over trendsetters. he announced an agreement this week that was not an agreement. the only thing agreed on was to get another analysis from the budget office on expanding medicare. the same people who are very concerned are asking tough questions on his side of the aisle. nelson, etc., they are all concerned. neil: i know there will be this omnibus of budget vote and there are a couple things on there that strike people as sadly needed, including 2.5 million for assistance partnership, a
national water association. are these must-haves for you? do we need them? >> they are not, and that is because this has become a garbage can. you have a 12% spending increase -- i do not do your marks. i'm one of the few here has chosen not to do them. you have a needle exchange in this bill. it just goes on and on. neil: i just want to be clear. you did not join others for these programs. you are not part of the water association. >> right. i will likely be in no vote on this bill. neil: ok. i apologize. very good to have the.
would be dangerous. >> i think the slippery slope is in the opposite direction. i think that we need to learn from what happened a little bit more than a year ago, when we have a wall street meltdown. it was going to bring down the entire economy, according to bush and paulson, and congress provided rescue package. we do not want the taxpayer ever again to have to bail out big banks because they could hold the entire economy hostage. so we will ask that it is the taxpayer holding the bag. neil: i and his chair to ask you questions. my question to you is, what is the trigger you would like to have intervened and say, ok,
this is it. neil: the issue is whether they pose a risk. if they go under, it drags the whole thing -- neil: i know that. i also, in covering it, remember the market conditions. so how would you stop that? what would you do? >> what i would do is require much greater disclosure and transparency so people can see way ahead of time before it is too late exactly what the exposure an institution has. as you know these derivatives, credit defaults swaps were in the dark. they were beyond the reach.
no one knew they have trillions of dollars of what turned out to be bad derivatives. neil: a lot of these guys are invested in the market, and they are combining trillions of dollars. there is nothing your colleagues to do to envision or prepare for that, right? >> you cannot be sure what direction the economy is going in, but you can make sure that you do not have a couple firms that track everybody else with them. we would all agree that if you have a company that makes bad decisions. neil: everyone made bad
decisions. you did, they did, everyone did. so how do you deal with that? >> there were plenty of businesses are run the country that did not make that financial decisions. they're obviously hurting out as a result of the downturn in the economy, but a lot of companies were doing just great but because of the meltdown, which threatened to affect the economy. so this bill requires two things. a much greater transparency, so you can see earlier whether a company is in trouble. number one, it requires more collateral and you put up. so aig, making these big bets, someone can say, look, you have to put up some collateral so we can be sure that if you lose it -- neil: a lot of folks right now are saying that this might be a good american, a good congressman, but it will be congress and the government policing books when they have
trouble pleasing their own? -- policing their own? >> this is partly the result of the fact that nobody was policing this activity. neil: including yourself. including congress. >> nobody had the authority to. neil: barney frank have authority. a lot of you guys do. >> the sec does not have the authority to require an aig to disclose. what you would do is make work that they did not reach a position where they did not put up collateral that would allow them to repay their debts. i should also say that what the bill requires is that big banks themselves, the biggest
neil: mike huckabee is more popular than he was last month, and he supports president obama in a hypothetical head on head matchup. the former candidate turns me now. he has a new book. a good cold. what do you make of that? >> it just shows you what a mess the countries in if i'm calling about well. neil: what do you think that
people are saying? they are in replicate with the spending. they are not attaching a party, so much as a principal. >> the key party candidate would outpoll the republican candidate. what that shows is that people are angry who expect republicans to be fiscally responsible and show accountability are not necessarily convinced that republicans will do that, so they are looking for somebody who, in fact, will say that right is right, wrong is wrong. it does not matter if you're a democrat or republican. if you do the right and, it is right, if it is wrong, it is wrong. if they do this effectively next year, they will take control of congress. if they do not, they will be as obsolete as the whigs.
they have been hypocritical with tarp in support of spending. they bragged about not raising taxes, but they did not control spending, and they let the deficit run away. then they did not show accountability for what was perceived to be huge mistakes. those things combined killed republicans. neil: and with this omnibus stimulus bill, there is more preparation for defense spending. some republicans are between a rock and a hard place. what are they going to do? >> they need to make it clear that if they do not separate it, they will not vote for it. neil: then the government will
shut down. >> this time, it is a democratic congress. if democrats want to pass something, they can pass it. they have a clear majority and a filibuster-proof setting and the house. the idea of republicans opens up in back is nonsense. they just need to point out the mat over and over and say if there is any reason something is not happening, it is because democrats will not eat this stuff, and watching them eat off the menu that they will not eat up on the other side. neil: i like that analogy. the dow is up almost 20%. and i was in washington, and one of the issues i kept hearing in support of the president was that the trend is their friend. it is looking good. what do you think? >> it looks good. lobbyists are being hired by the gazillions, milt -- plenty of
meals at the steakhouses. everyone is fully employed. take that same question to the middle of america. go to san angelo and oklahoma city. and ask people, is this going to be bigger this year? and you do not hear people struggling from the confines of the rarified air of washington. and williams is going to be on our show, sitting in a christmas song, but we also will talk to john ratzenberger. neil: a shopping standoff. shoppers holding out, retailers freaking out.
neil: retail sales up and the markets, people are waiting to finish christmas shopping until they see discounts. people are holding out for discounted 70% or more. here to explain is our retail water. -- watcher. >> they got spoiled last year. i think this is a real opportunity. a lot of the discounters -- neil: 70% off?
i think they're lying. they make up the numbers, right? >> yes, of course they do. they do discount. brooks brothers, the internet, friends and family, another 25. most of the department's are moving to 70, but we have a different take this year because all lot of the inventories are much more under control. but i think it was going to be like black pride over again. the retail sales numbers are coming out, and people are realizing it has only been a couple of weeks and they have not gone shopping.
people are saying you could be executed going to the mall. >> that is why they are creating all these different events. they are going to wine you a little bit, they will buy new and why not? neil: but this notion that more men are shopping on the internet is pretty accurate. >> probably, but i think there is a rush to go into the stores. and you will be in the store of the 24, right? i think -- listen, i predict this christmas season will not only be better than last year, which would not be hard to do, but it probably will be the best in five years. neil: when we come back, do as i say, not as i do. .
neil: all right. so i really want to see if i got this right. the government today busy capping more bank salaries but refusing to say boo about exploding government worker salaries, capping those greedy bankers, fine. clamping down on all of those six-figure federal workers, never mind the number of bankers and what they make has declined double digits over the last 18 months. the number of federal employees paid 100 grand or more has jumped a% in the last 18 months. as a fascinating usa today analysis of federal data salaries reveals, that is not including overtime pay and bonuses. not bad if you can get it and if you are a government worker, damn good pay if you are lucky to have it, 30% more than the private sector worker and apparently growing, since government jobs are among the hottest out there and in an
economy that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector damn near boom times in the public sector, nice for even mid level government guys whose salaries are soaring, and not so nice for mid level banking guys whose salaries are not. then again, bankers make more money and we as taxpayers have given them a lot of money, so not a surprise that washington wants to control their money. it's just that for my money, washington is a bit rich, fixated on setting pay for those had controls, but not saying a damn thing about the pay for those it employs. that's what's weird. all right. i'm going to see you one hour from now on fox business network, more on this as senator john grasso is joining us, railing on the new loophole in the senate healthcare bill that proves that rationing is ahead. that's why you need to